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McBroom: No indication of election hacking

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette State Sen. Ed McBroom speaks about election concerns over Zoom at Tuesday’s Houghton County meeting. McBroom, chair of the Senate Oversight Committee, said contrary to allegations popularized by Mike Lindell, there is no indication of election hacking.

HOUGHTON — The claims of election hacking pushed by Mike Lindell and others appear to be “made up” and “conjecture,” State Sen. Ed McBroom told the Houghton County Board during its Tuesday meeting.

Last month, the board asked McBroom, R-Vulcan, to investigate claims included in Lindell’s “Absolute Proof” movie that alleged hacking done from several countries to switch votes away from former President Donald Trump. McBroom is chair of the state Senate Oversight Committee, which is preparing a report on the 2020 election. McBroom said the report could come as soon as next week.

A screenshot in “Absolute Proof” of what was purported to be a spreadsheet documenting the times, IP addresses and votes involved showed 1,143 votes being switched in Houghton County sometime after 1 a.m. the Wednesday after election day. Post-election audits in Houghton and other counties, including some where every precinct was checked, have not found those discrepancies, McBroom said.

“If they had been changed, then how could the hand counts come out precisely in line with the original tabulator slips?” McBroom said. “You could speculate that, well, at first in one county or another we might not have chosen the right precincts. But over all 83 counties in the whole state of Michigan … how can you account for that except to say it’s just not true?”

Lindell and others have also seized on vote discrepancies reported in Antrim County, in which totals the next morning showed Biden with a lead in the county. McBroom said that temporary discrepancy was the result of human error by the clerk, who had not properly updated software on her computer, causing lines of data to be misaligned. The results were fixed the next morning.

An audit of the Antrim County results found the initial tally was off by only 12 votes, which were from ballots that could not be counted by the machines, McBroom said.

“These reports, whether it’s through Mr. Lindell’s videos or other places, very — in my opinion, carelessly — identify those misreported results as having come because of other activities that aren’t even possible,” he said. “…There’s no internal modems, there’s no way that they were connected to anything, or part of some hack.”

In the case of other counties where votes were purportedly switched, such as Houghton, Delta or Alger, even if a foreign IP address did ping a local computer, there’s been nothing to indicate votes were switched, McBroom said.

“There is no opportunity to connect to those machines in such a way that would tamper with those paper results that are printed up, or with the paper ballots that are in the box,” he said.

McBroom also described the state’s election audit, which included investigations of the election process, from logic and accuracy tests on the machines, security of election machines and post-election hand recounting of random precincts from each county.

McBroom went to Delta County, one of the counties listed in the Lindell video, and spoke with the county clerk about their election process.

“When they’re all done with these hand recounts, they come out exactly the same as what was originally tabulated,” he said. “All over the state, where these post election audits came out, they were right in line with the original results, again and again.”

Asked about the spreadsheet from Lindell’s video, or footage alleging to show how votes were switched, McBroom said as many times as he’d tried, he’d never been able to find original sources supporting the claims.

“It kind of leads me into a lot of dead ends when the people who are supporting the theory provide me with some raw data but can’t give me a direction to go find where that data comes from and verify that it’s true,” he said.

Some residents asked the county if it would consider an audit such as the one being conducted in Arizona, provided that it was funded by an outside party.

Commissioner Glenn Anderson said he would be fine with that, as long as it was authorized and it was done by a reputable source.

Administrator Ben Larson also thanked McBroom for bringing other state legislators to the area to view damage remaining from the 2018 flood. In talking with Ron Yesney from the Department of Natural Resources, it sounded as though funding for work on the Lake Linden trail would be available, Larson said.

“We’re going to get it done,” McBroom said. “The discussion is how fast we’re going to get it done. Right now, we’re pushing for next year.”

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